Review – Isle of Skye: Journeyman

things we want from the second expansion:, bairns, potato cakes, teacakes, limmy
Quinns: Two years on from Paul’s bucolic Isle of Skye review (ft. his family cookie recipe), Matt and I have finally taken a stroll through this game’s wonky Scottish islands. And you know what? We’re both as charmed as Paul was. Isle of Skye is a sweet, rich game of buying and selling squares of land like so much dense shortbread, and I’d recommend it to anybody.

As this site’s #1 expansion fan, I’m thrilled to say that today we’re looking at Isle of Skye’s first expansion! It’s Isle of Skye: Journeyman. With it, no longer are you just mapping an island. Journeyman adds a wooden “best mate” who waddles around your island, diligently studying everything from cows to ponds.

But the first thing to say is that this expansion changes the tenor of the experience faster than a fart at a funeral.


Review: Fugitive

jack won't behave, hamster in a hurricane, solo socks
Paul has been on the road of late and, since it’s never a bad idea to travel fast and light, he’s made sure to pack a few smaller games. Among them is the book-sized marvel that is Fugitive, but can a game so small stand out in a world of big boxes and flashy components? Can it compete with its big brothers? Here’s our definitive opinion.

Review: The Fox in the Forest

pretty foxes, handsome woodcutters, and a psychic slapfight
Quinns: The Fox in the Forest is the best small-box card game I’ve played in two years.

That’s a pretty momentous statement, right? Well, now we’re going to lose all of that momentum as I plunge this review-car up to its axles in mud, because Fox in the Forest is a trick-taking game.

The board gaming scene has a habit of not explaining what “trick-taking” is, probably because it’s a huge pain in the ass to teach. But we’re going to do it, here and now, in SU&SD’s famous spirit of accessibility. We can through this mud together, reader! You get in the driver’s seat, I’ll get out and push. Just stick with me! Now, feather the accelerator! The ACCELERATOR! That’s what we call the gas pedal in England do it oh god the mud is in my shoes


Review: Hive Pocket

catnip for poindexters, wait until you see the outtakes from this one, monopoly comes for us all
Surprise, it's a re-review of Hive! Fortunately the last review barely talked about the game and wasn't filmed in a totally ancient ruin. In more ways than one, it's wonderful to think how far we've come.

Gosh, we've had a lot of fun recently returning to older games. They're all so good! What are some of the games in your collection that you feel have stood the test of time, readers?


Review: Cockroach Poker Royal

hot ants, cool dogs, regal bats, and an average man
As our team continues playtesting and preparing for the first of the year's Big Reviews, here's a cheeky appetiser! While Quinns was on holiday this month he filmed a couple of lightweight reviews on his favourite travel games, starting with the ever-entertaining Cockroach Poker.

(Yes, we published an article about Cockroach Poker before, but in 2018 our written articles reach a fraction of the audience that our video reviews do. In other words, if a game's absolutely awesome then us writing about it is basically the worst thing that could happen to it, so going forward you can expect us to occasionally re-visit a classic game in video format.)

(And no, you're not wrong, Quinns mentions Galaxy Trucker in this video but forgot to film that bit of the script. His waterlogged English brain was probably struggling with all that sunshine.)


Review: Bärenpark

furry tetris, bear patch of land, *blep*
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Even if we’d tried, if we’d deployed all the forces at our command, we’d never have been able to keep Paul away from reviewing Bärenpark. It’s a tile-laying game and it features bears. The best we can do is hope he doesn’t overdose on pure pleasure.

That said, Paul is a consummate professional and it’ll take more than a boxful of bruins to win him over. Can Bärenpark deliver or, at heart, is it just too simple?


Review: Secrets

the name's bond, james bond, listen do you have 5p for a cup of tea
What's the new hidden role game that's got SU&SD buzzing? That's full of laughs and surprises whether you play it with 4 players, all the way to 8? That has the single nicest components that Quinns has EVER TOUCHED?

We couldn't possibly say. Those are Secrets, you see.

Please note that Secrets isn't out yet, and arrives in shops in August. If you're interested, we recommend contacting your friendly local game shop and asking to place a pre-order.


Review: Sagrada

a unicorn autopsy, devilish denials, the eternal damnation of two yellows touching
Paul: Help me out here. I’m in a bit of a dilemma.

I keep telling people that I’m not especially enamoured with Sagrada, that it’s just my latest diversion, but then I say they should still try a game with me. Then it hits the table again. Then I’m playing it once more. Then we have a good time and I think about the next person I want to try it with. Then it goes back into my bag and I bring it to someone new.

Am I in denial about just how much I like this?


Review: Diamant

Conversational sex act, Danny DeVito, No no no no no
Paul: QUINTIN. I know we want to tell people all about Diamant and how this cute-but-cruel game of pushing your luck can make you either rich or dead, but I’ve got to say one thing right thing right here, right now, right off the bat. Right?

Quinns: I'll allow it!

Paul: Diamant is probably the most fun I’ve had for the least investment of time and energy SO FAR THIS YEAR. I’m so sorry. I just had to blurt that. It’s a petite wonder. PETITE. WONDER. Like… Danny DeVito. Or... a teabag?

Quinns: You’re arriving at this party a little late though, aren’t you? Last year I called Incan Gold the best little push-your-luck game I’d played in forever. Diamant is just a beautiful new edition of the same game! You can’t talk about it like you’ve just found a dead sea scroll in your back garden.

Paul: All right, all right, back that boulder up, snarkaeologist. Incan Gold? The 2006 game? And when did you come to it, exactly?

Quinns: Erm. 2016.

Paul: An entire decade of incompetence.


Review: Deception: Murder in Hong Kong

give me your badge and your gun and that rock you keep in a plastic bag
Quinns: After playing co-operative social deduction game Deception, the proof is insurmountable. The 21st century police force is the greatest board game theme of all time, not because it works so well but because it doesn’t work at all.

Back in our eighth ever podcast we talked about Police Precinct, and while we had a terrible time with that game we were endlessly amused because we seemed to be playing the cast of Reno 911 on the set of The Purge. Then last year I finally got to try Good Cop Bad Cop, where in one memorable turn I confiscated my colleague’s coffee as evidence, downed it in one gulp, then shot them.

But with a name like “Deception: Murder in Hong Kong” and brooding, maroon box that includes a handful of plastic bullets, you might assume that this, at last, is a serious game about law enforcement.

You couldn’t be more wrong. I’m thrilled to say that Deception is every bit as silly as those others, and it's also the best game of the three. Come for a ridealong with me! You're statistically unlikely to be shot.